Unrolling paper tubes from mason bee “condo”
Mason bees are very important pollinators for fruit trees as well as vegetables, flowers, etc. Due to concerns about the decline of pollinators, the City of Burnaby has a program in which it installs “bee condos” in municipal parks, and asks volunteers to monitor and clean them, harvest cocoons, keep them dry and cool over the winter, and place them back out in the spring to hatch. Mason bees are ideal for urban areas because they are very placid and non-aggressive.
Count bugs? Yep, doing aquatic invertebrate surveys is a good indicator of water quality, so we do them twice a year at nine locations on the creek.
Volunteers took bug samples (aquatic invertebrates) at three locations on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today. While we haven’t run the numbers yet, judging by how few bugs we found, and the very limited variety, the water quality is likely in the lowest “Poor” category.
We use the established Module 4 methodology from the Streamkeepers Handbook.
The water in Byrne Creek is usually in the “Poor” to “Marginal” categories, since our “headwaters” are all residential, automotive, retail, etc. All the crap that accumulates on roads and parking lots is flushed into the creek.
Taking a sample with a D-net
Despite the drizzle that gradually increased to steady rain, I took a two-hour ramble down and back up Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, today, hoping to see salmon coming back to spawn. When the rains raise the water level, the fish start heading upstream in mid-October, so they should arrive any day now.
I didn’t see any salmon, but it was a lovely day with the rain giving foliage a lush sheen, and the overcast sky imbuing the forest with a soft light.
The return of sockeye salmon to the Adams River in the Shuswap in British Columbia peaks every four years. This was my third or fourth visit for a peak run, combined with a 3-day SEHAB (Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board) meeting.
Here are a few photos taken while volunteering on the river as an interpreter for the thousands of tourists who flock to this amazing event. The run was not yet at its peak, and I hope I can find the time to make it up there one more time this year.
Check out Salute to the Sockeye for more information.
More photos in Jasper area, Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff, and Lake Louise.
Along the Icefields Parkway
Today I drove from Burnaby to Kamloops, taking the 3 across to Princeton, and then the 5A up to Kamloops. This takes several hours longer than just blasting up the 5, but I prefer the slower, more intimate roads for photography.
The following shots were all taken along the 5A.
It was windy and there were whitecaps on Nicola Lake